At Willowbrook, getting involved and working for causes which promote our common good is as natural as breathing. As a congregation, we support activities and organizations that help relieve the plight of the homeless, the hungry, and the poor. In addition to financial support, we believe it is also important to give of our time and talents. When we work together, we become part of something that is bigger than ourselves. Willowbrook is an example of God’s love in action.
Ongoing support …
From funds we receive from our church’s annual budget, Outreach primarily supports local organizations while remembering regional and international needs. Those organizations include:
– Central AZ Habitat for Humanity
– United Methodist Outreach Ministries’ New Day Center (UMOM)
– Salvation Army – Sun City location
– Wesley & Golden Gate Community Centers
– Justa Center
– HART Pantry
– Sun City Meals on Wheels
– St. Mary’s Food Bank
– Valley View Community Food Bank
– Four Corners Native American Ministries
– United Methodist Committee On Relief (UMCOR)
Prior to the pandemic, Outreach underwrote the cost of those who participated in our district’s annual home-build mission trip in Mexico. In addition, we also underwrote the cost of training for those who enrolled in disaster response training. As corona virus cases decline, it is anticipated that Willowbrook will again participate in these programs.
Angel Tree Ministry
Angel Tree is a prison fellowship program. Each Christmas, our outreach Christmas tree is decorated with the names of over 50 children. These are the children of incarcerated parents. Gifts are purchase, wrapped and delivered to the child’s home. This simple act of love gives joy to families who might otherwise have little to celebrate.
In addition to money we receive from our church’s budget, we are blessed to receive “second mile” donations. Outreach maintains a jar for loose change donations in Wilson Fellowship Hall. We use these gifts to underwrite a variety of children’s programs (see below).
Food Bank Support
Willowbrook collects food and funds the first Sunday of every month. Food donations are given to the Salvation Army in Sun City for re-distribution while monetary donations are used to support Valley View Community Food Bank. In addition, Outreach designates a portion of its annual budget to support the West Valley Salvation Army Center, HART Pantry, and St. Mary’s Food Bank.
HART (Helping At Risk Teens) Pantry provides weekend food bags to teens who do not have enough food when they are not in school. They also provide school supplies, graduation gifts and Christmas gifts to their teens.
On an ongoing basis, Willowbrook collects toiletries and food for HART’s food pantry. In 2021 Willowbrook strove to strengthen our commitment to HART. We did this by donating backpacks during HART’s back-to-school drive and at Christmas, we donated blankets and gift cards for the teens.
Habitat for Humanity
Each year, Willowbrook joins the Mighty United Methodist Coalition. This is a coalition of valley Methodist churches who join together to fund raise and build a Habitat home. Through the years, Willowbrook has helped build many homes in the greater Phoenix area. Our partnership with Habitat and the coalition is over 20 years old.
Justa Center is a day center for homeless seniors, age 55 and older. The center provides services to these seniors without charge or obligation other than a commitment and desire to return to housing.
Throughout 2020 and 2021, on a monthly basis, donated goods were delivered to the Center. These donations varied from coffee supplies to NEW clothing needs, to hygiene items. As Christmas 2021 approached, through the generosity of second-mile-giving, Willowbrook was able to donate a new long-sleeved shirt to each client at the center.
Currently, Willowbrook prepares and serves a hot lunch to Justa Center clients on a quarterly basis. Throughout the summer of 2022, we are providing a “Dinner-to-go” sack meal on a weekly basis.
Benji fund donations underwrite our gift to The Army in support of their annual back-to-school clothing drive/school supply needs.
Annually, Willowbrook members participate in the Salvation Army’s Christmas bell ringing program. We usually ring the kettle bells the last weekend before Christmas.
For many years, Willowbrook has financially supported the Back-to-School clothing drive organized and administered by the West Valley Salvation Army. We continue to support that clothing drive. But in 2021, as schools began to reopen, we expanded our Back-to-School drives by donating school supplies to UMOM’s New Day Center, Wesley Health Center’s Golden Gate location, HART Pantry, and Four Corners Native American Ministries.
Four Corners Native American Ministry
In 2020, as the pandemic spread throughout the United States, one of the hardest hit areas in our state was the Navajo Nation and the four corners area. Initially, Willowbrook responded by participating in the Desert Southwest Conference 2020 outreach drive, “Water for the Nation.”
In 2021, Four Corners Native American Ministry was added to the list of the many Methodist organizations we support on an ongoing basis. Willowbrook participated in their 2021 back-to-school drive and also chose this ministry to be the recipient of our 2021 Thanksgiving and our 2022 Easter offerings.
UMOM New Day Center
UMOM (United Methodist Outreach Ministries) New Day Center provides homeless and low-income families with food, shelter and tools to build a bridge to self-sufficiency. The New Day Center is the largest family homeless center in the state of Arizona.
Willowbrook participates in the annual fundraiser “Walk The Walk To End Homelessness”. In addition to sending a team of walkers, we are also a sponsor of the walk. At Christmas, we also sell UMOM Christmas/Tribute cards to provide funds to UMOM.
United Methodist Committee on Relief
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) brings God’s hope, healing and renewal to people whose lives have been disrupted by war, conflict or natural disaster. UMCOR provides humanitarian relief and disaster response both internationally and domestically.
Wesley Community & Health Centers
Wesley operates two campuses; one in south-central Phoenix and one (Golden Gate) in the Maryvale area. They provide a variety of programs for children, youth, adults, families, and seniors. Their mission statement, “Together We Empower Positive Change,” is at the heart of all Wesley programs.
Willowbrook supports the Wesley Centers on an ongoing basis by financially supporting their outreach programs. As in previous years, in 2021, we participated in Wesley’s back-to-school drive by donating school supplies and backpacks. During the 2021 Christmas season, Willowbrook “adopted” ten children from Wesley’s Golden Gate campus, and purchased Christmas presents for them. It is anticipated that Willowbrook will continue to support these Wesley programs in future years.